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The North Rim has a reputation for its rugged, isolated trails, its sparse facilities and a lack of appeal in the eyes of the tourist mainstream. However, this reputation is only partially true. Sure, the North Rim is less crowded than the South, but only relatively so. During peak tourism periods – from the late spring to early fall – the North Rim accommodates a large number of travelers (about 10 percent of all Grand Canyon visitors). The good news for the nature purist is that there are few available facilities in the North Rim, so the area will likely always remain relatively underdeveloped. Popular spots in the North Rim include Bright Angel Point, which allows views of the Roaring Springs, the North Rim's only water source. You should also swing by the 8,803-foot Point Imperial, the highest point on the North Rim.
Recent visitors called the North Rim spectacular and a must-see, remarking on its peaceful and quiet atmosphere. They also recommended booking accommodations here at least a year in advance to guarantee a room.
The entrance to the park's North Rim is located 30 miles south of Jacob Lake on Highway 67. From the South Rim, the route is 212 miles. If you don't have your own set of wheels, several shuttle services, including the Trans-Canyon Shuttle and Grand Canyon Shuttle Service, make daily rim to rim trips. Keep in mind: Service can be limited in the winter. Lodging is available at the Grand Canyon Lodge, the only available lodge on the North Rim, as well as one campground. Nightly rates for the lodge cost an average of $200, and reservations (the earlier the better) are an absolute must. In fact, guests can book their overnight accommodations at least 13 months in advance of their stay. It's important to note that the North Rim is only open to visitors from May to October. Available facilites include a visitor center, which houses a bookstore, bathrooms and informative exhibits staffed by park rangers. The center is open from mid-May to mid-October 15 from 8 a.m. to 6 p.m. For more information about the North Rim, visit the NPS website.